help up-selling installs and new sales

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by Steve, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Steve

    Steve LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from NE FL
    Messages: 1,624

    I need help up-selling plant and mulch installs. Mowing is good and all, but I want more to do with higher revenue. I've sent letters out to all my customers 2 weeks ago, let them know I will be back full time starting the first week of April. I mentioned other stuff I am available to do and to let me know so I can schedule a date and would be best to do before April.

    My current customer base is; some year round customers, a few weekly seasonal, and mostly biweekly with a few that are year round. Overall my winter this year was better than last year by converting a few of my first customers to year round and I hope to gain more this year.

    I got a copy of retail & wholesale prices at a local nursery so when somebody wants plants, I can quickly give them a price. Now I just need the customers. In general, I don't think 80% of my customers would even care for that.

    How do I target the people that wants plants and mulch that are not my customers? What strategy do I use to sell this?

    I do have a bed clean out job scheduled for the 12th. However, I'm kinda a leery about it. I'll be cleaning about 3 cubic yards and installing 2 yards of mulch. Im getting paid $120 upfront with a balance of 300 remaining, but I'm almost positive they are not interested in plants no matter how much I try and sell, as she said just wants mulch as they are leaving in 3 years and she getting ready to start school in a few months
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
  2. Andrew H

    Andrew H LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    So do they want their house to look like crap when they sell it, or do they want to spruce it a little with some
    Plants. On the flip side, how
    Much time are you going to
    Waste on one person that doesn’t want plants? Consider installing plants at your own house and putting a sign up, word of mouth is the best source of advertising. As far as mulch goes, find a product and stick to it, dyed pallets that are shredded up is poor mans mulch and it looks like crap. We only install triple shredded hardwood, if they want dyed, call someone else..
    Most clients are serviced annually, some semi annually. We usually turn down jobs that’s are less that 5 yards.
  3. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,917

    The art of the upsell

    Targeting houses for sale is always bad, they don’t want to spend a lot of money.
    Who’s going to take care of the plants and water them?
    No one that’s who
    In a week with no care they’re going to look bad.

    Best thing is to look for new owners and/or people keeping their property

    You’re not going to buy new tires for a car you’re going to trade in unless you’re trying to hide something
    Same thing with a house

    But you’ll be getting new tires for that cool new 4x4 you just bought ... same thing with a house.

    The plants have to do sometimes for a customer
    Noise reduction

    Lots of people are always cramming plants up around a foundation
    But it’s generally not a good place for plants

    Figure out what people are missing from their project that could make it better
    Learn what kind of plant fits that need
    Then make the suggestion

    That’s an upsell
    Solving a property problem and charging to fix it
    Cedar Knoll Lawn Care likes this.
  4. brichter14

    brichter14 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,067

    Do a nice job on the landscaping at your house and take some pics. Advertise on facebook. Everybody is on Facebook.
    Cedar Knoll Lawn Care likes this.
  5. Doc8406

    Doc8406 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,973

    Matthews Lawn Care likes this.
  6. Arvydas

    Arvydas LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    Unless you're charging enough to make it truly worth it (30 to 40 percent more than weekly mowing), your first problem is all the bi-weekly mowing clients. They don't want to spend money. The lifetime value of that kind of client is typically very low and your return on the time spent servicing them is very low.

    Unless you want to be making peanuts the rest of your life while working 50 to 60 hours a week or more as a business owner, don't focus on clients that don't want to spend money.

    The job you described for $420 sounds like a pain in the butt for very little money. Cleaning 3 yards of existing mulch? I hope it's not more than a few weeds and leaves. How long will this job take you?

    Learn how to market online and in print. You need a great, easy to read, fun to look at website. It's 2019. You need to be charging enough to be able to spend hundreds a month on advertising or you won't get anywhere, unless you have clients with a lot of friends for constant referral work. You'll look back on the last decade and wonder what the heck happened and wish you had just gone to work for someone else.
  7. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 4,812

    For current client upsells I like to take a picture of the area I want to spruce up. Then provide a few pictures of jobs I completed that would look similar. Like if it's a front bed redo I'll share a few pictures of some past redos. One thing I seem to get a bunch of good feedback on is I offer nursery walk through. Taking the client over to see the flowers and plants always seems to add a few things to both scope of work and plant choices. This is a great approach for clients who like to be more involved in the design and input of their properties. Just don't forget to include your time in the bill.
  8. OP

    Steve LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from NE FL
    Messages: 1,624

    I love that ideal!!! Do you take them to a box store or actual nursery? I currently only have 1 nursery on my list that does wholesale but I'm searching for more. I am working on a bid, ripping out bushes, bed clean, mulch install, new plants, and all new sod. The home is actually about 20 minutes away from the nursery I use, but Home Depot is literally 5 minutes away. Would it be a good ideal to meet them there instead?
    Doc8406 likes this.
  9. OP

    Steve LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from NE FL
    Messages: 1,624

    Hey thanks for the input! So I ended up doing the job. This one was a first for me. I had one section that I had to pull up 2 loropetalum's and shovel out some dirt. All together that section took about an hour. Once I completed that I looked at the other side that was larger area and started thinking I underbid and it's going to take a lot longer than I thought! I ended up going to rent a mini skidsteer, thank goodness as I hauled away more dirt than I anticipated. Luckily I was able to recover some loss by 1) customer gave me a $40 tip, 2) I ended up not going to the landfill because I was able to give most to somebody looking for fill dirt and they gave me $60 and I'm using the rest in my yard.

    Here are the before and after pics 1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg
    Doc8406 likes this.
  10. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 4,812

    I always take them to my wholesale nursery. I'm lucky that it is located pretty close to the core of my service area and it's got a huge selection.

    If it was me I would take the drive but that has more to do with my dislike for home Depot. I've never been in the garden section at HD so havehno idea is it would be worth it. Plus it will limit your ability to mark up plants if your already paying full retail.

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